Do the monitors even matter in an untreated room? Debating JBL 305P MkII vs PreSonus Eris 4.5 or 3.5

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KVRer
15 posts since 22 Jun, 2021

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:36 pm

I'm trying to put together an entry-level small home recording studio to record music - mostly guitar, some bass, maybe vocals in the future. I was going to get a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for the interface, and was debating on the monitors - looking at JBL 305P MkII, PreSonus Eris 4.5, or Eris 3.5.

The room is about 13' x 21', and is completely untreated - it just has regular room stuff like bookcases a couch and chairs. I'm not going to be doing any professional work, and I have a decent pair of headphones - Philips Fidelio X2. I'd be using the monitors primarily for monitoring - playing along with a drum track or existing tracks.

Given that the room is untreated, does the quality of the monitors even matter? Could I just get the cheap Eris 3.5 and call it a day? Or is it still worth stepping up to something larger and better like the Eris 4.5 or JBL 305P?

KVRAF
2544 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 1:03 pm

Everything you mentioned is on the same level, get JBL's, they have enough of low end to actually enjoy making music.

KVRist
79 posts since 8 Oct, 2019 from Lannion, France

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:47 am

+1
I'm in an untreated small room with JBL 305, and find them worth the money in my case.
I suppose the "don't waste money in monitors in untreated rooms" common read advice is not true under 250$ (cannot say for higher prices).

Coming from 3" 100$ mackies, which WERE a waste of money.

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KVRAF
12881 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:18 am

Yes, ofcourse quality matters! As in: don't ever buy any junk. You do not want new monitors to be a total disappointment. I think anything with woofers smaller than 4" are a total waste. You want to hear some 50Hz bottom, not limited to 100Hz.

There's a difference between a bad room and a good room. If you have a concrete floor, big uncovered windows and nothing at all on the walls: that is a bad room. Put a carpet on the floor, some curtains or luxaflex on the windows and bookcases filled with junk on the wall: that is probably already a rather decent room. Decent enough for decent monitors, even without proper treatment.

Nearfield monitors are designed to remove a lot of influence of the room from the equation. Because these are positioned up close (less than 1 meter) you mainly hear the direct signal from them and not so much room reflections.
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KVRAF
28805 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:26 am

Saying that speakers won't matter in an untreated room is like arguing that you can't hear a synth's character in Youtube videos due to the compression. Of course you'll hear it. An untreated room will rather give you things like bass frequencies adding up because of doubling of the sound waves. You won't easily fix that though, even when you do treat your room.

I'd also go for the JBL's. I have the predecessors, the JBL305s. They're good, even though I had a bit of a hard time getting used to them. They can be boomy, but, that's an issue with the room really. I stopped caring about it, TBH, because, I can't treat this room, and, it would be a very tedious process anyway. There are so many places in this room where frequencies add up, it's ridiculous. I won't be able to fight that, so, I won't try.
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KVRAF
2544 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:28 am

askoan wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:47 am
I suppose the "don't waste money in monitors in untreated rooms" common read advice is not true under 250$ (cannot say for higher prices).
Yeah, I would even say it's not true for anything bellow 500 for a pair, after that you enter more in personal preference difference area and there you should definitely have your room sorted to appreciate those differences and get most out of your investment.

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KVRAF
3995 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from Land of The Charity Shop

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:31 am

I you're in the UK, Gear4music has pairs of
Eris E5 at £202.50
JBL 305P MKII at £209
Tannoy Reveal 502 at £198 on order, reviews have mentioned background noise.
Worth a mention
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Last edited by The Noodlist on Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral: Is boutique the new old?

KVRer

Topic Starter

15 posts since 22 Jun, 2021

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:34 am

Okay, I think I get it now. It matters in as much as you still don't want junk or speakers that are too small, but there's no reason to go crazy on monitors. Stepping up from $50 3.5" monitors to $150 5" monitors is still worthwhile, while diminishing returns kick in after that.

Thanks for all the advice. And seeing all the recommendations for the JBLs, I'll go that route.
BertKoor wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:18 am
There's a difference between a bad room and a good room. If you have a concrete floor, big uncovered windows and nothing at all on the walls: that is a bad room. Put a carpet on the floor, some curtains or luxaflex on the windows and bookcases filled with junk on the wall: that is probably already a rather decent room. Decent enough for decent monitors, even without proper treatment.
Well, I've got a hardwood floor, and just one window that would behind the monitors, but boy do I have the bookcases filled with junk covered! :D

KVRer

Topic Starter

15 posts since 22 Jun, 2021

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:42 am

The Noodlist wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:31 am
I you're in the UK, Gear4music has pairs of
Eris E5 at £202.50
JBL 305P MKII at £209
Tannoy Reveal 502 at £198 on order, reviews have mentioned background noise.
In the US, but thanks. I found the JBL305Ps for $220 a pair on Reverb, not sure if I can do much better than that

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KVRAF
3995 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from Land of The Charity Shop

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:57 am

Here's a page of reviews.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/foru ... rTestData/
$150 each below.
monitors.png
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Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral: Is boutique the new old?

KVRAF
4522 posts since 22 Nov, 2012

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:47 am

just chimed in to say JBL are extremely underrated speaker systems. We used to have an 800 watt stack in the living room of our college apt. in the early 90's. lol

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KVRAF
3995 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from Land of The Charity Shop

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:16 am

Sub $500 each. JBL seems to be rated.
$500.png

Sub $200 each.
$200.png
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Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral: Is boutique the new old?

KVRAF
4522 posts since 22 Nov, 2012

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:29 am

What happened to JBL, and I think we had a total of 18,000 watts passive, was that they were the "event" speakers in the midwest for a while, and there was always at least a second hand system for the chill room at most parties. Then TURBO SOUND busted in the door and told everyone that paper cones were better. The chicago and cleveland kids were all over turbo sound, and JBL had to downsize to a more constrained market. They are built to last road warrior speakers tho. Sound better then average in most cases.

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KVRAF
6706 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:10 am

+1 for the JBLs. I had a pair at our old place as a secondary reference (next to my Yamaha HS80Ms/subwoofer system) and they were amazing little speakers for the price. I sold them when we moved because I've been doing less music over the past 5 years and my studio in our new house is considerably smaller/more crammed, but I'm actually considering buying another pair of the JBLs and using them as my main monitors, rather than my Yamahas, because the room is so small.

KVRer

Topic Starter

15 posts since 22 Jun, 2021

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:22 am

The Noodlist wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:57 am
Here's a page of reviews.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/foru ... rTestData/
Thanks for that, looks like the JBL are ranked very well indeed (as well as recommended by everyone).

I'm also impressed with how well rated the ELAC Debut by Andrew Jones, Pioneer by Andrew Jones, and the Sony Core speakers are. Makes me feel good about having ELAC Debuts speakers in the living room in Sony Core in the bedroom.

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